World’s scientists turn to Asia and Australia to rewrite human history

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via The Conversation, 08 December 2017

Researchers in human evolution used to focus on Africa and Eurasia – but not anymore. Discoveries in Asia and Australia have changed the picture, revealing early, complex cultures outside of Africa.

Source: World’s scientists turn to Asia and Australia to rewrite human history

Symposium on SEA and Australasian human evolution

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Readers in Brisbane may be interested in attending this conference covering the latest of human evolution research in Southeast Asia.

Challenges and Opportunities for Human Evolution Research in SE Asia and Australasia
Griffith University
8 – 9 July 2016

The symposium is linked to the official launch of the Research Centre of Human Evolution at Griffith University. The symposium reviews the current research on human evolution research in SE Asia and Australasia and provides a platform to develop research synergies between Australian researchers, colleagues from SE Asia, and overseas. Invited speakers include Prof Francois Semah, Paris; Prof Chris Stringer, London; Prof Eske Willerslev (Copenhagen).

Register your interest here.

East Asia in the annals of human evolution

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Darren Curnoe argues that recent archaeological finds from East Asia and Southeast Asia hint at fundamental changes in our understanding of human evolution.

East Asia makes a comeback in the human evolution stakes
The Conversation, 22 January 2016

Archaeological discoveries in East Asia over the last decade or so have dramatically rewritten our understanding of human evolution.

But the implications don’t sit easily with many scholars internationally who continue to see Europe and Africa as the heartland of human origins.

For more than 150 years our understanding of human evolution has been largely shaped by the discoveries made in Europe and parts of Africa, like the caves near Johannesburg and the Great Rift Valley on the east of the continent.

Full story here.

Red Deer Cave People: another set of new, old humans

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I’ve been slow in getting this news out which has been floating about a week already. An article in PLoS One discusses a set of human remains from China, dating to about 11,000 years old, containing a mix of modern and archaic hominid traits and may suggest a late-surviving set of archaic hominids, or part of an earlier human migration out of Africa that has been undetected until now.

Human Remains from the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition of Southwest China Suggest a Complex Evolutionary History for East Asians
Darren Curnoe1, Ji Xueping, Andy I. R. Herries, Bai Kanning, Paul S. C. Taçon, Bao Zhende, David Fink, Zhu Yunsheng, John Hellstrom, Luo Yun, Gerasimos Cassis, Su Bing, Stephen Wroe, Hong Shi, William C. H. Parr, Huang Shengmin, Natalie Rogers
PLoS ONE 7(3): e31918. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031918

Human fossils hint at new species
BBC, 14 March 2012

‘Red Deer Cave people’ may be new species of human
The Guardian, 14 March 2012

Mysterious ‘Red-deer Cave people’ fossils found in China
EarthSky, 20 March 2012

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Fossil of common ancestor found in Burma

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It’s the news like these that reminds us about how much more there is to know about human evolution. This time, an exciting fossil discovery of the jawbone and teeth of an extinct primate species has been found near Bagan, in Myanmar. The now-dubbed Ganlea megacanina was a common ancestor to humans and apes who lived 38 million years ago. The added significance of the date is that it lends support to the thesis that the common ancestor of humans and apes came not from Africa, but perhaps from Asia instead. I’ll expect we’ll revisit this idea in time to come, until more fossils are found – if they can survive this long.

Myanmar fossil may shed light on evolution

AP, 02 July 2009

A new primate from the Eocene Pondaung Formation of Myanmar and the monophyly of Burmese amphipithecids
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 01 July 2009
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Wednesday Rojak #50: The Cambodian Dinosaur edition

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Rojak turns 50! Not that it has been 50 weeks since I first started this since I’ve missed quite a few weeks due to travels or sheer forgetfulness -it’s more like one and a half years. This week, we feature quite a few stories from Southeast Asia like the Cambodian dinosaur found on the walls of Ta Prohm (first featured in an earlier rojak) as well as several related to the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birthday.

aizu evolution
photo credit: neys

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